NCC Holds Public Inquiry on Three Key Regulatory Instruments

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is holding a significant public inquiry at its headquarters in Abuja, focusing on three critical regulatory instruments shaping the future of Nigeria’s communications industry. The event which started on Tuesday and is expected to end on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, brought together industry experts, stakeholders, and engaged citizens to discuss and refine these regulations.

Speaking during his opening remarks, Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, emphasized the importance of the inquiry. He highlighted the Commission’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity, ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders are considered. Dr. Maida stated, “The public inquiry we are conducting today is a testament to the Commission’s dedication to promoting an efficient, accessible, and competitive telecom industry.”

The first regulatory instrument scheduled for review is the Telecommunications Networks Interconnect Regulations. This regulation is crucial for enabling seamless communication between the different networks, fostering competition, protecting consumer interests, and aligning with international standards. The review aims to keep pace with technological advancements and improve regulatory efficiency.

The second instrument discussed was the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators. These guidelines provide a transparent and accountable framework for approving operator disconnections, ensuring procedural fairness and protecting operators from unjustified disconnections.

The final instrument reviewed was the Guidelines for Dispute Resolution. Effective dispute resolution is vital for maintaining a stable telecommunications ecosystem. The updated guidelines aim to streamline the process, save time and costs, and minimize service disruptions, particularly for small claims.

Mrs. Chizua Whyte, the Acting Head of Legal & Regulatory Services at NCC, welcomed participants and highlighted the importance of refining these regulations to address the sector’s evolving challenges. She noted that interconnection fosters service delivery and market cohesion, ensuring fair and non-discriminatory access for operators. The updated guidelines for disconnection and dispute resolution are expected to bolster investor confidence, promote healthy competition, and enhance stakeholder confidence in the resolution process.

The NCC’s collaborative efforts with stakeholders have driven significant advancements in the communications sector, and this public inquiry underscores the Commission’s commitment to regulatory excellence. Dr. Maida concluded by inviting participants to engage in meaningful discussions, aiming to create an environment that inspires innovation, encourages fair competition, and serves the best interests of all stakeholders.

The NCC looks forward to the valuable contributions from this inquiry, which will help shape a robust and dynamic communications industry that supports Nigeria’s economic growth.